Akroyd penalty settles thriller

Bradford Salem v Brods' Bennie Pritchett
Bradford Salem v Brods' Bennie Pritchett

Ollie Akroyd’s late penalty helped Old Brodleians snatch a 31-29 home win over Beverley and lifted the Woodhead men to second in Yorkshire One.

A fluctuating game between two sides level on points beforehand produced plenty of attacking rugby.

Brods looked set to win handsomely when they romped into a 21-0 lead after 23 minutes but the East Yorkshire side had an excellent third quarter and nosed in front, only to be pipped at the post.

The home men opened with great intent and Phil Town chased down a kick deep into the visitors territory to tackle the Beverley full back.

From the resulting ruck Beverley were penalised. George Ashton was tackled in his drive to the line but the ball was laid back and American prop Benny Pritchett, fast becoming a crowd favourite at Woodhead, charged over for the opening try after three minutes. Akroyd converted.

Beverley showed their talent as their half backs had a spell of possession in midfield. Chris Vine relieved the pressure with an excellent box kick and Rob Jennings broke the defensive line.

From the resulting scrum Jennings picked up as the referee played advantage and Vine was in support, showing good pace to touch down Akroyd again converted on 18 minutes.

Brods were on fire and their dominant scrum produced a further try with Jennings touching down after the Beverley pack had been shunted back over their own line. Akroyd’s kick made it 21-0 after 23 minutes.

Beverley quickly pulled a try back following a lineout when Will Harrison twisted free from the resulting maul and scored wide on the left.

Brods responded with some excellent rugby and Dom Georgiou showed pace and used his winger Tom Wilson as a foil to break the line and finish sweetly .

Akroyd again converted and Brods had secured a bonus point before half time, turning round 28-5 up.

The visitors regrouped and fly half Junior Tupai showed his class with some great handling.

Tupai linked with Beverley player coach Will Turnbull, who put Rob Smith in enough space for him to romp over untouched by a Brods defender. Smith converted on 45 minutes.

The visitors had a good period in possession and were looking dangerous in attack. Luke Hazell scored and with the conversion the East Riding side were back in at 28-19 after 10 minutes.

Brods counter attacked and Danny Cole was pulled down just short of the line.

Beverley continued to press and Harrison took advantage of slack Brods defence from a quick tap penalty and dashed over to reduce the gap to 28-24.

Within minutes Beverley had scored again when Harrison broke blind and beat the cover defence to score wide out on the left and complete his hat-trick. The try gave Beverley a 29-28 lead with 20 minutes to go.

Brods dug deep and Jasper Ayrton went close,

Matty Hoyle made a great run out of defence and Pritchett was pulled back from crossing the line for an offence at a lineout.

The pressure was building and with just minutes to play Beverley were penalised in a central position on their 22 and Akroyd claimed victory.

Brods have a break from league rugby next weekend when they visit Hullensians in the second round of the Yorkshire Shield.